I know a lot of companies say they have a 'digital amp' but if they also say its class D then the DAC is always at the input to the class D circuitry.
That's what I always thought. Thanks for confirming, Ralph.
This technology HAS NO DAC. Please go look at the products. Look at the Peachtree GAN1 as well as the Sabaj. I think NAD has one with built in streamer.
PCM in. Convert to PWM. Switch outputs. Integrate. NO DAC.
I don;t know what other companies are advertising. The copy writers may not have a clue either.
Exactly how are you defining a DAC? From your description, the amp IS A DAC.
Simply put, a DAC stands for digital to analog converter. You don’t listen to PWM. You listen to, must listen to, music as an analog event.
So that PWM signal must go somewhere, and the moment it becomes an analog signal you have a DAC.
I should also point out that Class D is an analog, but switched system. A purely PWM driven amplifier has complications of it’s own, especially how the lack of feedback is a challenge.
To borrow a term from marketters, this is a powerDAC.
Want to add a little:
Class D is a switched output amp but the switching is completely controlled in the analog domain.
Modern amps like Technics may be called a digital amplifier in the sense that it is a digital process controlling the switching of the output duty cycle, but it IS a DAC. Further, these digital amplifiers (as I define here) have challenges in properly implementing a feedback circuit. Technics famously gets around their issues with a calibration cycle.
Love it when a guy comes on here (@tvrgeek) and corrects a person with more experience in designing and building amplifiers than anyone here. Node has a DAC...
What is the GaN 1?
It is a 200 watt-per-channel power amplifier designed to be the sole interface between your variable output digital audio device, like a Bluesound NODE, and your speakers. The GaN 1 is a simple, pure and cost-effective audio solution. Connect the GaN 1 to a streamer and a pair of speakers. That's it...no DAC, no preamp and no input switching. The signal path from the music to your speakers is remarkably short and free from artifacts. Do you want to hear the intricate details in your music that have always been there, but you couldn't quite make them out before...but NOT in an analytical or fatiguing way...simply reproduced as naturally and realistically as they were captured? Then the GaN 1 is for you!